The Pressures of Body Love

September 5, 2014 • Body Image, Eating Disorder, Recovery • Views: 1444



Full disclosure: Today was a really stressful day for me and all I wanted to do was act on my eating disorder. I fully plan on eating a complete dinner later, but I’m pretty emotional and raw right now and the LAST thing I want to think about is food. Using this post for therapeutic reasons.

I recently had a conversation with Angela Barnett, founder of the blog Fucking Awesome Bulimics I Know, which features profiles on individuals who have struggled with or are struggling with bulimia. She brought up an interesting point that got me thinking: With all this talk about body love in the media these days, is this just one more thing we have be perfect at? Why do we have completely love our bodies? That’s so much pressure, and I don’t know a single woman or man on this planet that is 100 percent satisfied with every aspect of his or her body. Even gym rats have something to criticize.

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Instead of saying, “Oh my gosh I just love every little thing about my body,” because that’s setting the bar pretty high for yourself, just pick one thing that you love and go with that. Like, I love my stomach because it’s never been a problem area for me. Some days, that’s about as positive as I can get with the way I think about my body!

Media pressures will tug you back and forth and back and forth – and this goes for everyone, whether you’re struggling with an eating disorder or not. You’re fine just the way you are. No, you’re not fine, you have to look like this model. Everyone is beautiful, everyone stop hating their bodies. 

Yet every magazine cover has quick ways to drop 5 or 10 lbs PLUS an article on loving your body.

THE CHATTER CAN DRIVE YOU CRAZY.

I like to also focus on what my body can do, not what it looks like. Isn’t the whole purpose of body image acceptance and not thinking about your body all the time? Just being at peace with it? When I think about crossing the finish line at my first half marathon, I think about the fact that MY body, the one who has been through so much, made it through all of the training and helped me to achieve something I’d wanted to do for a very long time. Think about the accomplishments that your body has delivered on – athletic achievements, taking you to and from work each day, hugging your family, trying new restaurants, birthing beautiful babies, the list goes on and on.

I am so grateful for mobility above everything else most days that when I can’t think of anything positive to say about my body, I just focus on the fact that I can walk upright with no assistance. I’m sure I will be even more amazed by what my body can do once I have children.

So whether your stomach is round or flat, whether your thighs are big or little, whether you like the way your ankles look or not, just remember that you don’t have to love your body all the time. You put enough pressure on yourself as it is. Just focus on where your mind, energy, talent AND healthy body have taken you so far.

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